"Paid To Think"
Live on Lightning 100
May 9th, 1999
Pelham calls this fan favorite an “old one” before tearing into it, and this is from 12 years ago. “Paid To Think” actually IS an oldie but a goodie.
Don’t worry, I hate myself for using the phrase “oldie but a goodie” as much as you do. We’re on the same page.
And yes, at the end when Pelham says they are going to try out a brand new song, those are the opening notes to “Kari-Ann” being tried out by Parrish on his keyboard. Historic.
"Paid To Think"
Live @ The Boro
January 29th, 2000
This show at the Boro provides an interesting snapshot of the band at the turn of the century. The setlist reads like a tracklisting of the Mahaffey Sessions, with "Circus" and "Thursday" tossed in as well (if there are Mahaffey versions of EITHER of those songs, email damageisdonetumblr[at]gmail[dot]com and hook a brother up!). It’s interesting to note that the versions of "Serious," "Dark Room," "See You Through" and "Oh My Love" from this show are raw and lacking definite lyrics. The band was creating a lot of new material all at once, and man, what a batch of songs.
That being said, this version of “Paid To Think” shows the band playing an old favorite with rock steady confidence. Also it’s weird to think of a time when “Paid To Think” was the guaranteed, old-favorite crowd pleaser and a song like “Dark Room” (which would later be one of the songs to fill the void of “Paid To Think”) was unknown. The audience even sings along in this recording, which for 2000 blows me away. Were the MP3s of the Dortch Sessions traded online back then? Or was “Paid To Think” just that popular that people knew it just from being played all the time?
2000, what a crazy year. Am I right?!
Today’s request comes from Nicole.
"Paid To Think"
Mahaffey Sessions (2000)
In all of the Features’ long history, I don’t know if they’ve ever produced a song that’s as much of a mouthfull as “Paid To Think.” Yeah, I could mention the gloriously rapid-fire drumming that signals this song’s arrival first, or the always catchy “oh oh” chorus, or the delightfully rock-a-billy bridge that leads into a totally rock and roll instrumental breakdown (all that howling!). But nope, my mind always goes to just how many words Pelham crams into the verses on this song. “I’ve been locked in my room thinking of you and carefully planning my next move into your heart, where I’ll find a crossword puzzle and a rollercoaster ride” is a lot to get out, you guys. And it’s what makes this song such a treat to sing along to.
"Paid To Think" is one of the Features’ oldest songs. It made it’s debut with the band’s original lineup and was recorded in Mississippi during the Dortch sessions (which I don’t have a year for, if anyone can help me out). I assume the song was a live staple then and it probably was whenever Rollum joined since the band recorded it during their sessions with Matt Mahaffey in 2000 (featured here). The Mahaffey version is louder, faster and a lot more fun. The band replaced the opening strum of Matt’s acoustic guitar with Rollum’s drums in the Mahaffey version. The switcheroo of a calm acoustic guitar with loud drums pretty much gets across how much more energy this version has. By the time I started going to shows in late 2001, "Paid To Think" had gone from possibly being a regular to being a special treat. After being played at the Boro show on May 2nd, 2002 the song disappeared until the all-request show in November of 2003. The last time the song was played was on August 13th, 2004 at the Boro, which was a total surprise since the song was generally accepted as retired. "Paid To Think" has not been played since.